SYNCHRONY: Music News, Week in Review & Upcoming Releases (9/04/20)

SYNCHRONY is a weekly feature focusing on relevant heavy music news, new releases, upcoming releases, as well as a week in review to help folks keep up with all of the content on Grizzly Butts. This’ll also include a list of upcoming releases and some preliminary notes on upcoming reviews or coverage. If I can’t hear it, I won’t cover it! If you have New Releases, show announcements, or important heavy music news that’ll be relevant or interesting to folks contact me at:

THIS WEEK IN NEWS (8/31/20 – 9/04/20)

  • Chill out my fellow peasants, the weekend is upon us and no better shimmering soundtrack to our plowshares turned to swords than a second glimpse at Maine-based folk artist HAGATHORN‘s second preview track for his upcoming debut album ‘Hartwold‘ due out this October 9th on Nordvis Produktion. This second track is a Jeremy Soule-circa-Oblivion sized instrumental to compliment the opening track shared a week or so ago. Medieval atmosphere, ancient folklore, a bit of inner piece via auld tones and touches. “Mistfall” is perhaps even more sleepy than the poignant grace of “Meadowgale”, coming at the center of the tracklist and emphasizing the sensitivity and nuance of the strings plucked. Check out “Mistfall” on YouTube: [MORE INFO]
  • Too stressed to get lost in the old ways? Heritage and hearth means nothing to a burning, warring world? Then perhaps the unsettling symphony of Melbourne, Australia-based shoegazing noise duo SENS DEP‘s debut album ‘Lush Desolation‘ will feel a bit more real as it oozes through your ears like a hammer-liquefied brain. It’ll be self-released November 30th and you can stream the gorgeously disturbing title track/single on Bandcamp: [MORE INFO]
  • None of this will do! Who relaxes on the weekend anymore?! I need sinister magick, occult riffs, promo pics with giant breasts, and… fuckin’ torches! I need the latest MEDIEVAL DEMON album ‘Arcadian Witchcraft‘ due out this November via Hell’s Headbangers Records! This is the first album from the band to feature Jim Mutilator (originally of Rotting Christ back in the late 80’s/early 90’s) on bass who hasn’t been heard of since beyond the admirable Yoth Iria band this year. I was a huge fan of their ‘Medieval Necromancy’ record back in 2018 so the wild guitar slinging, keyboard bashing heavy metal stomp of this new song “Meet Her Majesty” is the right sort of assault upon my ears. Witness its battering ram ritual over on YouTube: [MORE INFO]
  • Too much fantasy for you? Hook back into the gruesome surrealistic horror of OBSIDIAN KINGDOM‘s latest single from their upcoming September 25th release on Season of Mist, ‘Meat Machine‘, entitled “The Pump” featuring an animated music video via Ukranian artist Jakov Burov. The album is perhaps one of the more modern releases I’ve touched in a while, not only for its progressive post-rock and post-metal admixture but for the themes I’d describe as post-humanity in view of the murderous nature of knowingly overcrowding human biomes whilst selling “the good life” to folks who’ll never hope to see it. Check out the video for “The Pump” over on YouTube: [MORE INFO]
  • Black Lodge Records have announced a pretty remarkable signing via Chile thrash metal band NUCLEAR. The quintet have just finished up the render of their upcoming ‘Murder of Crows‘ album which will see release November 13th via the venerable Swedish label. Some details, artwork, and pre-order over on Sound Pollution’s Webstore: [MORE INFO]
  • Centinex offshoot and now long-running HM-2 crushers DEMONICAL have announced a new album via longtime partners Agonia Records entitled ‘World Domination‘ which is set to release this October 23rd. This is the band’s sixth album features a new vocalist Christofer Sätderdal who you might know from black/viking metal band Fimbultyr. The album art is quite nice, like a door from Lord of the Rings I’d probably have to open… and they’ve put up a photo of a red vinyl variant that looks fuckin’ beautiful! It sounds like the staff for this album is pretty much the same beyond their original drummer returning and if it sounds as good as ‘Chaos Manifesto’ I am excited to hear it. Good day to pre-order during a sale + Bandcamp Friday but of course do as you will and only as you can. Bandcamp pre-order: [MORE INFO]
  • Former Black Sabbath vocalist TONY MARTIN has signed deals for distribution of his upcoming solo album ‘Thorns‘ via Dark Star Records in the Americas and Battlegod Productions in Australia. The album will also feature members of Venom, HammerFall, among others. From the sound of things this album’ll intend to be a bit more aggressive than some might expect. No date on the album just yet but it looks like it’ll be towards the end of the year. Follow Mr. Martin over on Facebook to keep up with things as they develop: [MORE INFO]
  • Mannheim, Germany-based epic heavy/doom metal trio OLD MOTHER HELL will release their second full-length ‘Lord of Demise‘ this coming October 23rd via the fine folks at Cruz Del Sur Music. As always the label picks the best and these guys bring something a bit Isen Torr-like, earthen but epic in its own way which doesn’t feel too seriously rooted in scene or nation. I was looking at the press photos and one fellow was wearing a Depressive Age shirt so, my kind of dudes I think. The first single “Betrayal at Sea” is a fine introduction to their sound if you’d missed their debut back in 2017. Check it out over on YouTube: [MORE INFO]
  • Far from outlandish and just straight up outland rock from the most noir pits of Uppsala, Sweden’s Åhman-kin (ex-In Solitude), few will be sure where freak rock can go forward without walking around this pillar of PÅGÅ and the uniquely soulless funk traipse of this first single “Enter” for this new (upcoming) album ‘The Evil Year‘ due out on Svart Records via Kvohst’s Secret Trees this November 27th. Am I speaking an alien language, here? Bopping post-punk from Pelle and Gottfrid Åhman who you’ll know from In Solitude, No Future, Reveal!, Maggot Heart, Repugnant among others over the years. So, we’re not only getting one fantastic record from Henrik Palm this year but also this beauty, which is aptly described somewhere between the shuffling geek of The Birthday Party (‘Junkyard’, anyone?) and late 70’s Bowie, think the earthen mustiness of ‘Lodger’ but maybe not as nuts as that sounds on paper. Check out “Enter” over on YouTube and see if you’re into it, I’m stoked: [MORE INFO]
  • My skull is gawking open in its rightful, bejeweled plot in Hell as this beautiful bastard of a debut full-length from Costa Rican death metal upstarts BLOODSOAKED NECROVOID reveals its fleshy exterior as ‘Expelled Into the Unknown Depths of the Unfathomable‘, which releases via Iron Bonehead Productions this November 6th on CD and LP formats. Yes, the first preview song sounds exactly as cavernous as the ‘Viciously Consumed By The Unfolding Unknown’ song title suggests, I love the change in tempo past the three minute mark. Some of these guys are also in Astriferous so you know they mean business! Check it out on Iron Bonehead’s SoundCloud: [MORE INFO]
  • Agonia Records have announced the signing of Alex Bouks (Immolation, ex-Goreaphobia) new “dark avant-garde metal” band SHADOWS alongside plans to release an EP titled ‘Dominance’ sometime in 2021. I always liked the weird side of Goreaphobia and felt death metal fans were such fucking snobs about their full-lengths, both solid records. Anyhow this is something different from the sound of things where references to 70’s and 80’s rock and metal weirdos like Voivod and Celtic Frost bode well for whatever the future reveals. Nothing of substance to really pull from this news beyond the mention of Necromorbus Studios for the mix/master, which is always great news. Follow Agonia Records on Facebook to keep up with further developments: [MORE INFO]
  • Is Norwegian throwback progressive rock my new favorite thing? Actually, between the most recent Arabs in Aspic and this new WOBBLER song, at the very least Karisma Records has my number. “Five Rooms” is so 1974, peak LSD and anti-Vietnam War sentiment energizing progressive rock via brilliant minds seeing global suffering worldwide, a time when bands like Yes were recording records in mansions and entire operettas were born from modest rehearsal jams. The song practically flings out of Wobbler who’ve been around since 1999 and are readying their fifth full-length album ‘Dwellers of the Deep‘ for release via Karisma this October 23rd. The song is quite the album seller and I am certainly on board. Check out “Five Rooms” over on Bandcamp: [MORE INFO]
  • Although I am not the biggest fan of most of Rogga Johansson‘s literal 30 or so projects REVOLTING is one that always brings something a bit special to the table or, at least a bit of melody to keep things swinging. Transcending Obscurity Records have announced the project’s seventh album will arrive in the form of ‘The Shadow at the World’s End‘ this November 27th. A Juanjo Castellano painting is always going to appeal to me, from my perspective his work begins to touch upon the detail and use of color at the level of Seagrave’s best 90’s covers. “1888” is the first single from the album and it actually kind of rules, a big polka-stomper with a melodic break in the middle. Totally on board thus far. Check it out on Bandcamp: [MORE INFO]
  • Speaking of the power of the abyss! Rotted Life Records have announced the emergent burst of Cleveland, Ohio spume artiste NOXIS in the form of a 10″ LP and cassette release of their upcoming ‘Expanse of Hellish Black Mire‘ EP. Yeah first of all *chef’s kiss* at the snare on this tape, a beautiful bone-snapping hit that intensifies the whole grinding n’ grooving reap of the first single “Dream Infested”. Love the rattling bass tone, the attack of the song once it hits, and the shocking mess of brutal brain matter it leaves behind as it finishes. Heavy enough for Encoffination kids but serious enough for Pissgrave riffers. Rotted Life will release their versions on October 30th and Pulverised Records will have a 12″/CD version nearby (links on RL bandcamp). Give it a few spins over on Bandcamp: [MORE INFO]
  • Good news for fans of progressive/technical death metal the leans back to each sub-genre’s original mastery Rochester, New York quintet CONTRARIAN are back for a fourth album with ‘Only Time Will Tell’ due out November 20th this year via Willowtip Records. This time around they’ve added drummer Bryce Butler and oh man, the finesse on this guy is something else give the first single “In the Blink of an Eye” a whirl and pay attention to those hat [MORE INFO]
  • NOTABLE ALBUMS AT PRESS THIS WEEK FROM: Henrik Palm, Death Wheelers, Contrarian, Revolting, Wobbler, Novik, Dialogia, Horsewhip, Cross Bringer, Ascension of the Watchers, Old Mother Hell, The Troops of Doom, Maahes, Coastlands, Hark From the Tomb, Kosmovorous, Kraken Duumvirate, Kevel, Prometheus, Oblivion Beach, Eyes, The White Swan, Sarcator, Neptune, Nocte Obducta, Hagathorn, Gelkhammar and several more. Look for coverage in the near future. Don’t see your album listed? Send it to me:

GRIZZLY BUTTS‘ WEEK IN REVIEW (8/31/20 – 9/04/20)


  • …From the Tomb 8/31/20: “Spirit’s wrath descending to redeem.”
    • This year Ten From the Tomb changes to …From the Tomb and is no longer limited to ten releases. It will post every Monday with a list of at least ten new releases coming out during that current week and a short review will be included for each one.
    • This week I chose to cover 10 New Releases from August 28th-September 4th. This time around these are mostly what I’d consider A-list releases, important or hype worthy records that I just didn’t have time for before release. The three I’ve favorited are records I’d wanted to do full reviews for, so I always want to emphasize the column is not a ‘dumping ground’, just the reality that I am one person with a full-time job etc.
    • Favorites: Persekutor, Burial Remains, SVNTH.
  • The Top 20 Albums of August | 2020
    • The best stuff that came out last month, in order of my own personal resonance. It was a big month for death metal releases but I’ve included everything from funeral doom, hardcore punk, cyber metalpunk, progressive sludge rock, black/thrash, experimental black metal, and many variants within to expose the fantastic variety and high quality of releases we are still getting towards the end of this year in Hell.
    • Includes: Faceless Burial, Necrot, Rope Sect, Expander, Toxik Death, Astriferous, Ominous Resurrection, Atramentus, Radiant Knife, Sadistic Drive, Plague Organ, Messiah, Obsecration, Soulcaster, Svederna, Mercyless, Blood Red Fog, Ages, Cytotoxin, Desgraciados.
  • TERMINUS Extreme Metal Podcast #17 – Macabre Omen, Nihil Obstat, Ikotka, Svederna (2020) | PODCAST
    • I am happy to feature the Terminus Extreme Metal Podcast even though I don’t know who they are or what their implied industry/journalistic connections are. I’ve enjoyed their thoughts and each fellow seems to be a fan willing to offer genuine criticism and their coverage doesn’t seem to depend on friends in the industry.
    • Sure, they’re still figuring some things out but here at Episode #17 we’re getting fairly pure examples of what they feel is important about each release where each review contains some useful speculation and consideration applied. The flow of four featured reviews is the core of the experience and an enjoyable format, it could be tightened slightly with an ear for production but I enjoy the raw and sometimes in-process level of communication. The sound quality and consistency has vastly improved if you’d started at Episode #1 like I had, so now is a good time to check an episode out and see if their voices are something you’d listen to or, if their thoughts inspire your own fandom a bit more. This week the mention of Macabre Omen‘s compilation EP is particularly cool to see.


Big releases this week from Katavasia, Desolator, Persekutor, Drastus, Pantheist, En Minor and Polymoon. The releases from Drastus and Pantheist are both self-released compilations and probably great things to pick up for Bandcamp Friday. Otherwise I’ve been enjoying Zakk Sabbath‘s ‘Vertigo’, which is basically Zakk Wylde‘s Black Sabbath cover band doing most of the original ‘Black Sabbath’ album but replacing the cover songs at the end with “Wicked World” and a few others. I’m hoping it does well because I’d like to hear the band cover my personal favorite (and my very first metal) album ‘Master of Reality’. There is also a new Dead Lord album ‘Distance Over Time’ and I guess I didn’t realize they’d become just another ok Thin Lizzy kinda gig. Yeesh! Otherwise the week wasn’t amazing beyond the things I’d listed and the next two weeks are light on great until the end of the month where all the killer stuff drops. If I missed something great this week send me a message or leave a comment and let me know.

FROSTVORE – Drowned By Blood (2020) | REVIEW
AGES – Uncrown (2020) | REVIEW
SVEDERNA – Härd (2020) | REVIEW
DESOLATOR – Sermon of Apathy (2020) | REVIEW
SOULCASTER – Maelstrom of Death and Steel (2020) | REVIEW

BURIAL REMAINS – Spawn of Chaos (Raw Skull Recordz)


NOTE: This small sample includes overlooked releases that are either not yet reviewed or covered but nonetheless recommended. Some of these will still be featured in other coverage. An asterisk (*) indicates that a review is drafted or in preparation. A plus (+) indicates that the album has already been reviewed. Click/Tap on RECORD LABEL name for preview, stream, or store.

MESSIAH – Fracmont (High Roller Records)

UPCOMING RELEASES (9/05/20 – 9/11/20)

NOTE: This is not a comprehensive list, some titles are already reviewed and/or covered and some have yet to enter the final queue for consideration and processing. An asterisk (*) indicates that a review is drafted or in preparation. A plus (+) indicates that the album has already been reviewed. Click/Tap on RECORD LABEL name for preview, stream, or store.

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